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Sebring WEC: Alonso and Nakajima seal pole for #8 Toyota – WEC

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Sebring WEC: Alonso and Nakajima seal pole for #8 Toyota - WEC

Toyota drivers Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima claimed pole position for the Sebring 1000 Miles World Endurance Championship round.

Alonso set the fastest time of the 20-minute nighttime session with a 1m40.124s aboard the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID before Nakajima followed it up with a 1m40.513s.

That gave them a 1m40.318s average, which was just under half a second up on the sister car qualified by Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

Conway’s 1m41.082s left the #7 Toyota nearly a second behind after the first runs before Lopez posted a 1m40.544s right at the end of the session.

The Argentinian had to pull out a quick lap to make it another all-Toyota front row after an off on his previous lap, his time resulting in a 1m40.803s average.

Alonso said: “Definitely it was a nice lap, [I had] a nice feeling with the car.

“There were a couple of tenths here and there, so maybe a 1m39s was possible.”

Nakajima added: “Thanks to Fernando’s mega lap the only job I had to do was not mess up and put the lap together.”

The #17 SMP Racing entry qualified by Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev was best of the LMP1 privateers with a 1m42.730s average.

Sarrazin had posted a 1m43.542s to put the BR Engineering BR1 sixth after the first runs, before his team-mate’s 1m41.919s vaulted the car up to third.

Thomas Laurent had been third in the #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 with a 1m42.640s after the first runs, but Menezes’s 1m43.086s dropped the car’s average to a 1m42.863s.

The second of the AER-powered BR1s took fifth with a 1m43.005s average from Mikhail Aleshin and Brendon Hartley, while the #1 Rebellion qualified by Mathias Beche and Neel Jani was a further hundredth back in sixth with a 1m43.015s average.

The two Jota-run Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA-Gibson 07s blocked out the top positions in LMP2. Stephane Richelmi set the fastest LMP2 lap of the session – a 1m46.932s – before Gabriel Aubry followed it up with a 1m48.194s.

That gave them a 1m47.558s average, which put them more than half a second up on the 1m48.208s from Will Stevens and David Heinemeier Hansson in the sister car.

Pierre Thiriet and Nicolas Lapierre took third with a 1m48.524s average in the Signatech Alpine ORECA.

Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre took pole for Porsche in GTE Pro.

Christensen was second after the first runs behind Aston Martin driver Alex Lynn with a 1m57.384s, which Estre followed up on with a 1m57.616s after a short interruption for a red flag.

That gave the #92 factory Porsche 911 RSR a 1m57.500s average, which was just over a tenth up on Ganassi Ford drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

Priaulx had been sixth after the first runs with a 1m57.495s, before Tincknell’s 1m57.735s gave the car a 1m57.615s average that vaulted the car up to second position.

The second of the Ford GTs was third in the hands of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla on a 1m57.714s average.

The best of the MTEK BMW M8s qualified by Augusto Farfus and Antonio Felix da Costa was fourth on 1m57.841s.

Antonio Garcia set the fastest GTE Pro time of the session – a 1m57.257s – in the solo factory Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, but the car was only fifth with a 1m57.844s average as Jan Magnussen had been slowest in class after the first runs.

Davide Rigon and Sam Bird were sixth in the best of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs.

The two Aston Martin Vantage GTEs brought up the rear of the GTE Pro field.

Technical problems prevented Maxime Martin from setting a quick lap in the car he qualified alongside Lynn, leaving them last in class.

Christian Ried and Matt Campbell took pole in GTE Am in the fastest of the Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSRs.

The GTE session was briefly halted after Luiz Perez Companc crashed the Clearwater Racing Ferrari.

Qualifying result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, F.Alonso Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m40.318s
2 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 0.485s
3 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, E.Orudzhev, S.Sirotkin SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 2.412s
4 LMP1 N.Berthon, T.Laurent, G.Menezes Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 2.545s
5 LMP1 M.Aleshin, V.Petrov, B.Hartley SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 2.687s
6 LMP1 N.Jani, M.Beche, B.Senna Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 2.697s
7 LMP1 H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der Zande DragonSpeed BR Engineering/Gibson 3.970s
8 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, S.Richelmi Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 7.240s
9 LMP2 D.H.Hansson, J.King, W.Stevens Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 7.890s
10 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Negrao, P.Thiriet Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 8.206s
11 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, P.Maldonado, A.Davidson DragonSpeed ORECA/Gibson 9.363s
12 LMP2 E.Creed, R.Ricci, G.Jeannette Larbre Competition Ligier/Gibson 10.387s
13 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, L.Duval TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 10.900s
14 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de Vries Racing Team Nederland Dallara/Gibson 10.989s
15 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 17.182s
16 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, J.Bomarito Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 17.297s
17 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla, B.Johnson Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 17.396s
18 GTE Pro A.Farfus, A.F.da Costa, B.Spengler BMW Team MTEK BMW 17.523s
19 GTE Pro J.Magnussen, A.Garcia, M.Rockenfeller Corvette Racing Chevrolet 17.526s
20 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird, M.Molina AF Corse Ferrari 17.620s
21 GTE Pro M.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg, A.Sims BMW Team MTEK BMW 17.682s
22 GTE Pro R.Lietz, G.Bruni Porsche GT Team Porsche 17.795s
23 GTE Pro A.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.Serra AF Corse Ferrari 17.914s
24 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, N.Thiim, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 18.048s
25 GTE Am C.Ried, J.Andlauer, M.Campbell Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 19.472s
26 GTE Am J.Bergmeister, P.Lindsey, E.Perfetti Team Project 1 Porsche 19.617s
27 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 19.758s
28 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella Spirit of Race Ferrari 20.040s
29 GTE Am G.Roda, G.Roda, M.Cairoli Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 20.099s
30 GTE Am S.Yoluc, J.Adam, C.Eastwood TF Sport Aston Martin 20.225s
31 GTE Am M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, E.Cheever MR Racing Ferrari 21.332s
32 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, T.Preining Gulf Racing Porsche 23.479s
33 GTE Pro A.Lynn, M.Martin Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 24.430s
34 GTE Am L.P.-Companc, M.Cressoni, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 19.078s

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